Best summer recipe ideas

Enjoy fresh and delicious seasonal meals with our pick of the best summer recipes, including tasty light bites, summer salads, sweet treats and refreshing drinks.

Published: May 30th, 2022 at 12:09 pm
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Bask in the rich flavours of summer with our favourite seasonal recipes, including fresh and healthy salads, homemade dishes, sweet treats and refreshing drinks.

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The summer season brings out the very best of British produce, with bushes full with berries and vegetable patches bursting with asparagus, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, radishes, beans and spring onions.

Plus, the cooking options are endless in summer, with barbecues providing ample opportunity for entertaining and outdoor dining. Toss your salad, grab a kebab and start chargrilling some veggies.

Make the most of the British summer season with our pick of the best summer walks and beaches in the UK. If a picnic is what you have in mind, check out our round-up of the best picnic food recipes for summer.

Best summer recipes

Smoked Trout, watercress and horseradish quiche

Quiches are a classic picnic food, and this smoked trout and horseradish quiche really easy to make at home.

Smoked trout and horseradish quiche
This recipe makes a 25cm quiche that will serve around 4-6 people (Photo by: minadezhda via Getty Images) Getty

Vegan fava bean falafels

The majority of the pulses we eat in Britain are imported from farms across the world – except the humble fava bean. These authentic Egyptian falafels, made with split fava beans, are the perfect addition to a summer BBQ and great to take on picnics.

Fava bean falafel
These vegan falafel snacks are perfect to take on a summer picnic

Pork and pickle pies

These pork pies are designed for a picnic - they have pickle inside the pastry so it doesn't slide off your plate.

Pork and pickle pie
Swap the pickle in this recipe for your favourite homemade chutney (Photo by: Diana Miller via Getty Images)

Moroccan lamb and quince sausage rolls

Whether it's a picnic or a somewhat snazzy lunchbox, these lamb sausage rolls put a spicy twist on a classic recipe. From Stuart Ovenden's The Orchard Cook, they're best enjoyed with a delicious mint and yogurt dip.

The Orchard Cook_Quince and lamb sausage rolls
Quince and lamb sausage rolls from The Orchard Cook (Photo by: Stuart Ovenden)

Apple, goat’s cheese, honey and hazelnut tarts

These tarts are quick and easy to make and ideal for a summer picnic. The recipe can easily be adapted using different cheese or herbs.

Apple, goats cheese and honey tarts ©Polly Webster
Apple, goats cheese and honey tarts ©Polly Webster Polly Webster

Vegan ‘sausage’ rolls in coconut pastry

These gluten, vegan ‘sausages’ rolls, made of cooked red lentils and roasted pepper, are perfect for packed lunches – you can swap the filling for sausagemeat, if you prefer.

Vegan sausage rolls
Vegan and gluten-free sausage rolls/Credit: Catherine Atkinson

Savoury stilton scones

These savoury scones can be frozen, so it's easy to make a big batch then defrost before your outing.

Savoury stilton scones
This recipe combines savoury stilton scones with walnut and tarragon butter (Photo by: Carole Gomez via Getty Images)

Best summer breakfast recipes

Asparagus and sweet potato hash with smashed avocado and egg

This fresh and easy vegetarian brunch is perfect for the summer months – just spice it up with jalapenos or chilli flakes to taste.

Avocado and sweet potato hash vegetarian brunch (Photo by: Claudia Totir via Getty Images)
This avocado and sweet potato hash is the perfect vegetarian brunch for summer (Photo by: Claudia Totir via Getty Images)

Best summer barbecue recipes

Barbecued plaice with fennel seed, chilli, aubergine and tomatoes

Cook up a delicious seashore supper from foraged greens and sustainable chef with this great recipe from River Cottage chef Gill Meller.

Barbecued plaice with fennel seed, chilli, aubergine and tomatoes

Hedgerow ketchup

Forage in the hedgerow for the elderberries, blackberries and crab apples for this delicious summer sauce, which will add a delicious alternative to your usual barbecue ketchup accompaniment.

Hedgerow barbecue ketchup

Best summer salad recipes

Broad bean, potato and radish salad

This fresh, green salad has all the tastes of spring and summer - crunchy greens and radishes, sweet broad beans and new potatoes.

Broad bean, potato and radish salad
Broad bean, potato and radish salad/Credit: Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford

Tomato and raspberry salad

This easy-to-make salad is a real taste of the English summer.

Tomato and raspberry salad ©Louise Hagger
Tomato and raspberry salad ©Louise Hagger

Summer garden salad

Rejoice in the fresh tastes of early summer with a garden salad with a recipe from Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford on their Somerset smallholding.

Summer garden salad recipe
Summer garden salad recipe/Credit: Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford

Grilled new potato salad

May sees the first crop of new potatoes, so grab a few and grill them with crunchy spring onions and little gem lettuce in this flavoursome salad.

Salad in a bowl
Grilled new-potato salad/Credit: Claire Thomson

Best summer dessert recipes with seasonal ingredients

Little cherry and almond cakes

An incredibly quick, one-bowl bake that you can whip up in minutes.

Little cherrry and almond cakes ©Polly Webster
Little cherry and almond cakes ©Polly Webster

Apple and blackberry crumble squares

Like classic fruit crumble but in a cuttable, transportable bar, use up your hand-picked blackberries to make these delicious crumble squares.

Apple and blackberry crumble squares (Photo by: manyakotic via Getty Images)
Swap blackberries for any other summer fruits (Photo by: manyakotic via Getty Images)

Classic scones

Whip up a fresh batch of homemade scones for a cream tea with this easy recipe.

Scones with jam and cream
A Devon cream tea - cream and then jam. (Getty)

Blackberry coulis

This easy-to-make blackberry coulis uses only three ingredients and freezes well, making it the perfect recipe to use up the blackberries you’ve picked during the summer months- keep a batch in the freezer and use it as a topping the next time you make pancakes or chocolate fudge cake.

Blackberry coulis recipe
Use this blackberry coulis as a topping for ice cream or pancakes

Blackberry and apple sorbet

This fruity sorbet recipe uses golden syrup instead of granulated sugar gives to give it a soft texture. If you can, use blackberries that you’ve picked yourself from the hedgerow – they taste far more intense than the big fat ones you buy in the shops.

Apple and Blackberry Sorbet
This fruity sorbet is perfect for using up hand picked blackberries

Summer ice lollies

Cool down with these refreshing orange, satsuma and carrot ice lollies for all the family.

Summer ice lollies
Summer ice lollies Getty

Bilberry and almond streusel cake

Late summer is a great time to harvest bilberries in the UK. They're a delicious alternative for anyone who finds blueberries a little too sweet.

bilberry
Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry)/Credit: Getty Images

Best homemade summer drink recipes

Homemade elderflower cordial

Enjoy a fresh and fragrant drink with easy and delicious elderflower cordial recipe - the perfect summer drink.

Elderflower cordial in bottle
Enjoy a refreshing homemade elderflower cordial/Credit: Getty Images

Gooseberry soda

Make a refreshing, fruity summer drink with a recipe from Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford on their Somerset smallholding.

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Gooseberry Soda
Gooseberry Soda/Credit: Getty Images Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford

Homemade elderflower cordial

The floral taste of this traditional syrup is great with water, but also complements pastries, cakes, ice-cream and champagne or prosecco.

Two glasses of elderflower cordial
Enjoy a fresh and fragrant drink with easy and delicious elderflower cordial recipe - the perfect summer drink. (Getty) Getty

Authors

Carys MatthewsGroup Digital Editor

Carys is the Group Digital Editor of countryfile.com and discoverwildlife.com. Carys can often be found trail running, bike-packing, wild swimming or hiking in the British countryside.

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